Michael Pena: Former NYPD officer pleads guilty to rape
Michael Pena, a former NYPD officer, pleaded guilty to rape today, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.
Pena was found guilty on sexual assault charges, but the judge declared a mistrial on the rape counts after a jury could not come to a conclusion.
A judge sentenced him to 75 years to life in prison in May, saying he had nothing but “scorn” for the former officer.
The victim had testified in court that he asked her directions to the subway around 6 a.m. Aug. 19, while she was on her way to work. Then, she said, he forced her at gunpoint behind a building, where he raped her.
His lawyer had argued that prosecutors could not prove penetration occurred, so could not prove rape.
Because the jury was deadlocked on the rape charges, he could have faced another trial on those counts.
Instead, he will face up to life in prison, District Attorney Cyrus Vance said.
“Michael Pena took responsibility for his violent criminal actions,” Vance said. “This plea spares the victim from testifying again about the crimes committed against her, and it is my hope this resolution brings a brave young teacher a measure of justice and closeness.”